Success is Winning it All

The San Francisco 49ers’ season notwithstanding, anything less than a Super Bowl victory is a failure. It’s old fashion, but making the playoffs is not success. 

Those of us who lived in the 1980s understand. Would Joe Montana consider it a “good” season if he made the playoffs? Would Bill Walsh gloat in the press of his tremendous team if they lost in the playoffs? Would Eddie DeBartolo have settled for making the playoffs?

The answer is a simple and resounding NO! Maybe it’s because of my own chosen profession, but coming in second is not a successful outcome. My clients don’t pay me to come in second.

In the 49ers case the bar was set a longtime ago by great teams who did not settle for anything less than a championship ring. Second place is for those other inferior teams, like Dallas. Nothing less than a World Championship will suffice for a true Niner fan.

The great thing about Jed York, as an owner, is that he understands this bar. The great owners will never settle for anything less than a championship ring. People may not have liked Al Davis, George Steinbrenner and my personal villain of all-time, Jerry Jones, but these folks never considered anything less than a championship a successful season.

If you have a mentality that allows for second place success, you will always come in second place.

That said, these 49ers are a different team than the 1980s. And while the coaching staff and defense have a chance to bring home the sixth Super Bowl trophy in franchise history, they are still a quarterback away from greatness. Anybody who has watched Alex Smith play, even this year, understands that simple fact. If Aaron Rodgers had been drafted instead of Smith, the Niners would not have to suffer sub-zero temperatures in Green Bay should they be successful on January 14.

Don’t get me wrong; not everybody can be successful. In fact, only one of 32 teams can match the lofty goals that were achieved long ago by Montana, Lott, Walsh, Rice, etc. Clearly, the 49ers are on the path to that success, and I would like nothing better than for Smith to prove me wrong and to celebrate in Indianapolis this year. (Note to Alex: consider it a challenge.)

But more importantly than this season is the fact that a Super Bowl will be played in Santa Clara, at the team’s new stadium, in the very near future. It should be the goal of this franchise to make sure it is a home game for the 49ers, just like 1984. There is no victory as sweet as winning a World Championship on your home turf.

Are you listening, Sharks?

Rich Robinson is a political consultant and author of “The Shadow Candidate”.  He is currently under contract with the High-Speed Rail Authority.

Rich Robinson is an attorney and political consultant in Silicon Valley. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.

16 Comments

  1. Rich

    Thanks for your insightful commentary.  We are now facing some more threats and bullying from the boo birds against the stadium.  They lost the election, and cannot move on.

    You will be pleased to know that the financing plan was passed unanimously by the City Council.  Everyone voted for it, and you would be happy to note that even those council members who opposed Measure J support the financing, and we need to be proud of all the members of the council.

    We need to welcome them all as good people.

    Sadly, the group, Santa Clara Plays Fair, has organized a petition to attempt to put the financing on the ballot.

    This group has a treasurer who has accosted accident victims at council meetings and berated them, and he has been using a paitining of a little girl being shaken by a football player so money falls out of her purse.

    The group has a link to a website alleging Santa Clara officials sabotaged the transformers and Candlestick, and Rich, as an accomplished author, you can tell the difference between humor and serious comment.  They believe it.

    The current petition is being organized by a person who opposed Judy Nadler, even accused Judy of committing a crime, which you know that is so untrue.  Nadler would park longer than an hour anywhere, and has never received a parking ticket.  When this person ran for Mayor, pocketing the contributions for living expenses, she lost to Nadler by 17,000 votes.

    My point is, Rich, it is time to move on, and get our city ready for that Super Bowl you want for us.

    Thank you for your spirit and kind commentary.

    A Santa Claran

  2. Rich, do you think it is pretty rotten for the Giants to be funding a “neighborhood group” to oppose the San Jose ballpark?

    I just read the post above, and I also have seen signature gatherers in Santa Clara, and they are refusing to show their petition.  I understand that there are city leaders in San Francisco funding this petition drive in Santa Clara, and that the leader of the drive actually worked for a corporation who hired her to disrupt an effort to preserve some historic property.  Rich, you are one of the most experienced political consultants around.  Aren’t these two examples of astroturfing in order to ruin South Bay sports venues.  What can we do?

    • I don’t blame SF interests for doing anything they can to keep the team.  Sf will face the five stages of grief,currently denial.

      But for any Santa Claran to allow themselves to be used as a front person is tantamount to civic treason. 

      But the 49ers have a great political team and the City Leadership has shown itself quite capable of beating back these obvious attempts at creating mischief.  That said, a successful petition effort could delay the project.

      My experience has been that Santa Clara voters won’t be taken in by the petition.  An education campaign to alert them of the consequences of a delay should be enough to prevent the effort from being successful.  Forcing another vote would be a tragedy, as the people have already spoken.

    • Astro, you can do nothing about it.  The overwhelming number of lobbyists, pimps, and consultants – different names for the same thing – will ply their trade as long as someone is willing to pay them.

  3. How do you feel about the huge amount of tax dollars. Being given to these sports corporations.  Socialism for the rich I guess is ok if your collecting the cash.

  4. ooks like Santa Clara’s political bottom feeder is at it again.

    Maybe he should focus on getting a job and paying the delinquent back taxes on his property instead of harassing and cyberbullying average Santa Clara residents who are simply trying to express their thoughts to their elected leaders.

    Oh, that’s right, HE is the one who was actually convicted of assaulting a transit employee.

    “If he continues to be good, Santa Clara political bottom-feeder James Rowen will successfully complete his one-year court probation this month. Last year police charged Rowen with battery on a transit employee when trying to retrieve a $200 briefcase he left on a bus. According to court records, when a female transit staffer couldn’t help him immediately, Rowen thanked her by hurling a gender-based epithet. The Limbaugh-sized pol, once a high-ranking county Democratic official and campaign hand for Councilman James Arno, then punctuated his verbal flourish by allegedly shoving the recalcitrant female bus servant. Ultimately, Rowen left with briefcase in hand, into the waiting car of his mother, who drove him home from the bus yard.”

    [The Metro, 9/11/97]

    He’s definitely the Mission City Loser!

  5. Rich,
    It’s all well and good to claim that you’ll settle for nothing but first place. But in the real world, a coach who leaves his starting QB in even though he’s getting pummelled with his team hopelessly behind in the 4th quarter would be considered irresponsible and would lose his job.
    This is equivalent to your and the CHSRA’s stubborn insistence on pushing ahead with your train plan, wasting valuable resources in pursuit of a losing battle and risking serious injury to the taxpayers and the budget.
    Otherwise though, I agree with your analysis of the 49ers and Alex Smith- although at this point I’d be happy just to see them advance to the NFC championship game. But winning in GB or NO? I won’t hold my breath- but wouldn’t that be sweet?

    • High Speed Rail is a project for visionaries.  There will be naysayers and nimbys but it will become reality.  Highway 5 was a freeway to nowhere, the Golden Gate Bridge was a boondoggle.  BART to San Jose was too expensive.  PAC Bell park was a corporate giveaway, HP pavilion would lose money and would force San Jose into bankruptcy.  The Calpine Energy Center would hurt home prices and cause cancer in nearby neihborhoods.  The Diocese Project in Cupertno would cause unbearable traffic,  Affordable Housing would eliminate farmers markets in SF,  The Rivermark project would cause overcrowding in Santa Clara schools, not to mention impacts these projects would have on butterflies, owls and frogs.

      Nimbys have stopped good projects, but their overall record of success would make the Indianapolis Colts winning percentage seem respectable.  And their record of predicting apocalyptic outcomes is less than that,. . .

      But if nimbys didn’t exist I’d have to use my talents for other worthwhile endeavors.  Looking forward to a Super Bowl in Santa Clara—another project that nimbys have tried to ground to a halt.  Peddling fear is a loser, even if occasionally you win.

      I plan to ride HSR in my lifetime.

      • Rich, you may well be correct that HSR will become a reality; the question is when. 

        My prediction is we will have HSR in CA when amoebas grow arms and drive speedboats.

        As a longtime pi… uh… consultant on the project, that’s wonderful for you, as long as they continue to pay you.

      • > High Speed Rail is a project for visionaries.

        Rich:

        The Apollo Moon Landing program was a project for visionaries.

        And it cost ONE FIFTH of the current projected cost of the “High Speed (snicker, guffaw) Rail” project.

        The High Speed Rail project is a project only for those visionaries who visualize sticking their hands in other people’s wallets and giving it to government and political parasites.

        The public isn’t clamoring for this syphillitic zombie.

        We need five more moon landing programs more than we need another high speed small package delivery service to Los Angeles, which by 2034, will be part of Mexico anyway.

        • Use today’s dollars and the moon landing wasn’t cheap,  Really?  we waste a trillion in Iraq, but won’t pay for our own infrastructure over 30 years?

  6. Looks like Santa Clara’s political bottom feeder is at it again.

    Maybe he should focus on getting a job and paying the delinquent back taxes on his property instead of harassing and cyberbullying average Santa Clara residents who are simply trying to express their thoughts to their elected leaders.

    Oh, that’s right, HE is the one who was actually convicted of assaulting a transit employee.

    “If he continues to be good, Santa Clara political bottom-feeder James Rowen will successfully complete his one-year court probation this month. Last year police charged Rowen with battery on a transit employee when trying to retrieve a $200 briefcase he left on a bus. According to court records, when a female transit staffer couldn’t help him immediately, Rowen thanked her by hurling a gender-based epithet. The Limbaugh-sized pol, once a high-ranking county Democratic official and campaign hand for Councilman James Arno, then punctuated his verbal flourish by allegedly shoving the recalcitrant female bus servant. Ultimately, Rowen left with briefcase in hand, into the waiting car of his mother, who drove him home from the bus yard.”

    [The Metro, 9/11/97]

    He’s definitely the Mission City Loser!

  7. Rich, you are a sincere, wonderful writier.

    I loved it.

    Ps, we are getting a Super Bowl.

    Mercury News reports that this petition is drafted incorrectly and is illegal.

  8. > Success is Winning it All

    > Rich Robinson is a political consultant . . . .  He is currently under contract with the High-Speed Rail Authority.

    Rich: 

    I realize that you probably are not a religious man. But nonetheless, you might want to consider offering a discreet prayer to St. Jude on behalf of the High-Speed Rail.

    St Jude is traditionally the patron saint of lost causes.

    It’s going to take more than a little divine intervention to turn the HSR train wreck into a “success” story.

  9. Do comments made about a blogger make the referendum valid?  No, the courts make that decision.

    DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT

    IS NOT A DISPOSITION DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT, JUST A SANTA CLARA TAXPAYER ISN’T CORRECT.

    • Comments about a blogger have no bearing on whether or not the referendum is valid.

      But a DDA *is* a development agreement, and as such is specifically allowed by Santa Clara’s City Charter.

      Anyone who says otherwise is just engaging in wishful thinking.